Posts tagged ‘Amy Eisenstein’

March 25, 2015

I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Have you ever stumbled upon a brilliant fundraising idea that inspired you to say, “I wish I’d thought of that!”?

Light Bulb Moment by Kate Ter Haar via FlickrSome of the greatest tactics and strategies we will implement during our careers are ideas that originated with others. Fundraising and nonprofit management ideas surround us. The challenge is not that there is a shortage of ideas; the challenge is knowing which ideas are truly great.

Now, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration have teamed up to make that task easier. At the AFP International Fundraising Conference (Baltimore, March 29-31, 2015), AFP and SOFII will host the session “I Wish I’d Thought of That!”

IWITOT is a unique seminar that will be moderated by Ken Burnett, Founder of SOFII, and involve 16 top-notch fundraising professionals who will each have up to seven-minutes to present his/her IWITOT brilliant idea. The fundraising ideas must be those the presenters admire or envy — an innovative replicable idea that we can all learn from. The proviso is that the idea cannot be their own or from their own organization, says Burnett.

The presenters include:

  • Adrian Sargeant, Plymouth University
  • Derrick Feldmann, Achieve
  • Tom Ahern, Ahern Communications
  • Amy Eisenstein, Tri-Point Fundraising
  • Simone Joyaux, Joyaux Associates
  • William Bartolini, Wexner Medical Center and Health Sciences Colleges
  • Valerie Pletcher, Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Daryl Upsall, Daryl Upsall Consulting International
  • Stephen Pidgeon, Stephen Pidgeon Ltd.
  • Amy Wolfe
  • Laura Fredricks, Laura Fredricks, LLC
  • Robbe Healey, Simpson Senior Services
  • Alice Ferris, GoalBusters, LLC
  • Frank Barry, Blackbaud, Inc.
  • Missy Ryan Penland, Clemson University
  • Tycely Williams, American Red Cross

“Each speaker will have a maximum of seven minutes each focused on a single big idea. This means that it’s a fast, colourful, entertaining, and inspirational session with much to learn for everyone and lots of fun, too,” says Burnett. “The speakers have been carefully chosen to give a balanced mix of seasoned professional leaders, sector gurus, and new, fresh ‘rising stars.’”

Here’s a limited preview of some of the ideas you’ll learn about during the IWITOT session:

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March 18, 2014

Get More Repeat Gifts: The Rule of 7 Thank Yous

Donor retention is a worsening problem for the American nonprofit sector, according to Jon Biedermann, Vice President of DonorPerfect. In 2011, only half of first-time donors to a charity could be counted on to make a second gift. As bad as that retention rate was, it dropped to 49 percent in 2012.

Something must be done.

It’s challenging and expensive to acquire first-time donors. Charities must do a better a job of hanging on to those donors. Cost-efficient annual fund campaigns as well as major and planned giving efforts depend on loyal donors.

MG Fundraising CoverFortunately, guest blogger Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE  offers a simple idea that can help: “The Rule of Seven Thank Yous.” Her rule will help you retain first-time donors, loyal donors, small donors, and major donors — in other words, all donors.

Amy is an author, speaker, coach and fundraising consultant who’s dedicated to making nonprofit development simple for you and your board. Her books include 50 A$ks in 50 Weeks and Raising More with Less.

In her current Amazon bestseller, Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops, Amy takes the complex subject of major gift fundraising and distills it down to its essential elements. The book provides a clear, methodical approach that any organization can follow. Great tips, real-world stories, check lists, sample forms, and more make this a book that you will keep on your desk and refer to often, that is if you want to raise more money than you might have thought possible.

I’m happy to share Amy’s advice about how to more effectively retain donors. Here’s what Amy Eisenstein says:

There are two main reasons that donors, including those who make major gifts, provide for not making a repeat contribution:

1. They didn’t feel thanked; and/or

2. They were never told how their first gift was used.

Fortunately, the answer to this dilemma is a simple one: donors give because doing so makes them feel good. This includes feeling appreciated for their gift and knowing that their check has fed more children, cleaned the environment, or in whatever way has made a measurable, positive difference to a cause they care about.

Your job, no matter how large or small your budget, is to make sure your donors are satisfied on both counts. Over the course of working with dozens of nonprofit organizations, I’ve developed a simple process to help you do just that whenever you receive a major gift.

You may have heard that you should thank a donor seven times before asking for another gift. Here is my version of “The Rule of Seven Thank Yous” works:

1. Thank the donor at the ask meeting (once they say “yes”).

2. Have a board member call to say thank you after the meeting.

3. Send a tax-receipt thank-you letter within forty-eight hours of receiving the gift.

4. Have the executive director write a thank-you card as a follow-up to the ask meeting. 

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November 18, 2011

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Development Plan

From time-to-time, I will invite an outstanding, published book author to write a guest post. If you’d like to learn about how to be a guest blogger, click on the “Authors” tab above. 

This week, I have invited Amy M. Eisenstein, MPA, CFRE, author of 50 Asks in 50 Weeks, to share her thoughts with us about the value of planning. In addition to being an author, Eisenstein is a fundraising consultant for local and national nonprofit organizations; her firm is Tri-Point Fundraising. In her post, she looks at when planning is not necessary and, when it is necessary, just how easy it is to write one. 

As the official description of her book says, Eisenstein helps readers “Raise more money; create a basic development plan; identify new prospects; ask for gifts more frequently; review the basics of fundraising; work with your board on fundraising; hire your first development staff member; and work as a cohesive development team with your executive director, development staff members, and board members…. 50 Asks in 50 Weeks is a development planning tool that focuses on frequency of asking, but also the importance of having a diversified funding base, as well as making sure you are fundraising as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

Whether you’re new to development or an experienced veteran, I think you’ll like Eisenstein’s frank, simple, no-nonsense, common-sense view of development planning:

 

Not all nonprofit organizations need a development plan. You may be one of them. Here are three reasons you may not need to write a development plan:

  1. Your organization does not need to raise money because it has an adequate, sustainable revenue stream that is either earned or unearned.
  2. Your organization comfortably raises enough money every year without a development plan.
  3. Your organization is closing its doors.

If you happen to work for an organization that does not fall into one of those three categories, and most development professionals do, then you need a development plan.

A development plan is beneficial for all organizations whether yours is a large institution with dozens of fundraising professionals or a small shop where you wear all of the advancement hats. A sound development plan will benefit you in a number of ways:

  1. It will help you, your colleagues, and superiors better understand what will be necessary to achieve your goals in the coming year.
  2. It will allow you to clearly prioritize your activities.
  3. It will make it easier to justify the resources you will need to execute the plan.
  4. It will ensure that you stay focused on key functions such as getting out and asking for gifts rather than being constantly distracted by the daily minutia.

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